By Vihaan Majumdar
With what might probably be the craziest deadline day ever in the rearview mirror, let’s look at some of the biggest trades of the season and grade them:
Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers: C
You might think I’m crazy, but hear me out. McCaffrey is the big winner in this trade, getting a way out of the dumpster fire that was the Carolina Panthers and finding a new home in playoff contenders San Francisco 49ers. But there is just one glaring catch: the 49ers did not need him. The 49ers have a run game that is so effective that they could have made Zack Moss the leading rusher in the league, and they decided to take advantage of that by trading away all their 2023 draft picks. Oh and McCaffrey pretty much takes up all the cap space the 49ers had left, and they still haven’t extended Nick Bosa.
Chase Claypool to the Bears: D
Packers fans are probably seething right now and rightfully so, but the only winner in this trade are the Pittsburgh Steelers. They managed to get a 2nd round pick for someone who is worth at most a 3rd, and Claypool gets sent to a team that is going nowhere and probably won’t for a little while to ruin his career.
TJ Hockenson to the Vikings: A+
Hockenson is someone who I believe is seriously underrated, and the Vikings got a steal giving up a 2nd and a 3rd for him and some 4th round picks. Hockenson gets his way out of the Lions to a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and the Vikings complete their offense.
Nyheim Hines to the Bills: C
Hines adds so much versatility to this Bills team, however, it remains to be seen how he’ll be used, considering he’s pretty much an exact mix of James Cook and Isaiah McKenzie, not to mention that he has a cap hit of $4.7 million. I can trust that Sean McDermott and Ken Dorsey will find a role for him, but for right now, I can’t fathom paying so much for a guy who doesn’t really change how the offense operates. On the bright side, he can find holes to penetrate the defense, unlike Zack Moss, who hopefully finds his footing in a rebuilding Indianapolis Colts
Calvin Ridley to the Jaguars: B
This trade shows that the Jaguars believe this season is over, and it’s time to look to the future. The Falcons showed they can operate without him, and Ridley probably needs a fresh start. Although, it is funny to note that Ridley got suspended for betting against Jacksonville.
Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins: A-
Bradley Chubb strengthens an already scary looking defense, and at least on paper, the Dolphins look ready to challenge for a Super Bowl. The only issue I see is the massive extension they just signed him to: looks like they’re going all in for a championship now and should probably count on losing some firepower in the near future as cap casualties.